Steve Cram (61) thinks Jakob Ingebrigtsen (21) can erase the European record he set at Bislett 37 years ago. The Briton believes the Norwegian Olympic gold medalist is similar to him as a type of runner – but mostly phenom Said Aouita (62).
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– There are many great runners, and he must be one of them. He was there, Steve Cram answering questions about who he wanted to compare Jakob Ingebrigtsen with.
– He’s a little different from “mine”. He’s more like a 1500 and 5000 meter runner, like Said Aouita – compared to Seb Coe and me. We are more 800 and 1500 meters runners. He is very strong, a bit like me. He kept the pace high as soon as he could start, Steve Cram added.
In 1985, he set a world record during the Bislett Games at one mile (1609 meters) with 3,46,32. Then the world record, still the current European record. On the same night 37 years ago, Ingrid Kristiansen set a world record in the 10,000 meters with 30.59.14, while the Moroccan gymnast Said Aouita did so in the 5,000 meters with 13.00.40.
Aouita won Olympic gold in the 5,000 meters in 1984 and bronze at the Olympics in 800 meters in 1988. He was alone in that.
Cram won World Cup gold in 1500 meters in 1983 and Olympic silver in the same distance in 1984, behind defending champion and compatriot Seb Coe (65) – who also won Olympic silver in 800 meters in 1980 and 1984. After competition, Steve Cram has made a career as an expert commentator for the BBC.
– He was able to take my record, with the right conditions and conditions. I think he’ll have to do it himself, says Steve Cram – and believes Ingebrigtsen won’t get any significant help along the way, though he hopes England’s Jake Wightman (27) “will not get too far”.
The race starts at 21.50.
Faced with Crams’ assumption that he should hope to do it himself if he wants to be able to take down personal notes 3.47.24 with barely a second and erased the European record, said Jakob Ingebrigtsen concurring with his interim boss.
– If I have a good day, I don’t need someone to push. It’s easier to relax with running as number two. But if all goes well, there’s not much to say whether you’re alone or with someone else, he says.
Steve Cram believes that only that, Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s confidence, is the key to his success.
– He prefers a harder pace, which is always good, and he has enough confidence not to worry too much if it goes too slow. This is pretty much the way I run. He is very confident in himself. He always is. Family, father (Gjert Ingebrigtsen), (brother) Henrik and Filip have helped him develop in his own way, Steve Cram explains.
– He was already an adult athlete at a very young age. When he was 16 and 17 years old, he was very mature mentally. He trained hard as a young man because he trained with his brothers. He wins and wins, it becomes a habit – and it gives confidence, the athletic expert continued.
– Is there a risk that he might be exhausted because he recovered early?
– It gets harder as time goes on because nothing can get better year after year. The smart thing is to handle it right when you are at your peak so you can have a long career. Then it has to do with motivation, because he has won a lot. To what extent does he have the strength to train as hard as he does, when there is so much more to do for young people, Steve Cram said and asked.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen answered the following questions, in the usual way:
– The “risk” is that I have won medals for six or seven years. People (competitors) can win from 20 to 30 years old, then I can win from 18 to 32 years old. I feel like we’ve been good at having long term projects, but first and foremost short term. Then you make sure that it’s as good as it can be there and then. Now that’s Bislett, it’s the World Cup. I can’t promise anything for the European Cup (August) or next year. I can get sick and hurt, and a lot of things can happen, he said.
Steve Cram also said that the “big thing” for Jakob Ingebrigtsen now is to win a medal, which is a gold medal in the championship. The Norwegian has never won World Cup gold. He could do it in 1500 meters and 5000 meters at the World Championships in Eugene 15-24. July.
– Gold medals and time are the current currency in our sport. You keep the gold medal, while someone will always come to take your time – as I know, Steve Cram said and smiled.
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